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February 27, 2006

Some Days are Diamonds Some Days are Stone

James Mehring

A few weeks ago, I was told that my daughter was colicky. Our daughter's pediatrician saw her during a meltdown. The doctor couldn’t calm her down and quickly diagnosed it as colic. According to BabyCenter.com “colic is one of the great mysteries of baby life.” And finding any useful medical information about this so called condition is difficult. Here is how I responded to the description of colic I found from the MayoClinic.com website.

*Predictable and recurring crying episodes……It must be time for dinner, our baby is crying.

* The baby may draw their legs onto their abdomens, clench their fists, tense their abdominal muscles, or thrash around and appear to be in pain during these crying episodes…You mean like she is in a mosh pit?

* Intense or inconsolable crying…Oh yeah.

Since the diagnosis Lyn and I have attempted to make life a little easier for our daughter and our eardrums. After all, the so called experts say a baby can be colicky up to five months old. That would mean another couple months of a very unhappy little girl and a weary mother.

We tried a colic hold. We shushed to no avail. Forget wrapping her up in a blanket. It isn’t hunger. We were going to get buy special tea that is supposed to help, but the Food and Drug Administration has an advisory out for star anise tea. Anise seems to be a popular ingredient in teas recommended for colic.

But I think we finally found a couple of solutions (I am currently knocking on wood as I type with one hand). The evenings are not totally quiet, but they have improved over the last week.

First of all, we got a hold of some Dr. Brown’s baby bottles. Even though the doctors are unsure of what causes colic one theory is air. The Dr. Brown's bottles are designed to reduce the amount of air a baby takes in when feeding.

If the lower lip curls out as those baby blues turn glassy when evening comes around it’s time to call for backup. That’s when one of us scoops up our baby and the other runs to the stereo to play…John Denver? That’s right. My daughter loves the country boy! It takes about ten seconds for her to quiet down. We just bounce around to John Denver tunes until she settles down for good.

So what if my wife and I can’t get the lyrics out of our head. Getting our daughter to sleep is even better than a Rocky Mountain High.

04:55 PM

Health

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Dancing to Moby worked for us. Just remember, it ends. Good luck.

Posted by: Rick at February 28, 2006 08:56 AM

I used to sing Opera to make her stop. It worked.

Only one problem, I am not a singer, and I don't know a thing about Opera.

Posted by: Mauro at February 28, 2006 11:53 AM

Two suggestions:

- do try the Karp technique (www.thehappiestbaby.com) - for you now, it's worth getting the video just to watch a baby actually stop crying.

It seems to work for a lot of folks. Our son wasn't colicky in the clinical sense, but obstinately refused to go to sleep. He could withstand a couple of hours of glider rocking, but 10 minutes in the Karp style made me very popular with my wife.

- make sure every caregiver who takes care of a colicky baby is aware of the danger of shaking a young child, knows it is OK to call you and makes a committment to do so.

Every week, children are injured by a parent or caregiver who loses control (1400-1600 a year. The odds? - about 1 in 2100)

Usually, inconsolable crying - think colic - is cited as the trigger (a recent California study suggests 95% of the time).

http://mediresource.sympatico.ca/health_news_detail_pf.asp?news_id=4725

It's awkward at first, but talk to a few other parents who've had colicky babies and see if you find anyone who, in his/her heart of hearts, won't admit that there was one moment when...

Only you can keep your baby safe, and you can only do it by sharing that info with the other caregivers in your child's life, so they can help you do that.

And yes, I do know the consequences if you don't...

Posted by: george at March 1, 2006 12:59 AM

The VentAire bottles also work well at keeping air out. We ended up using them more than Dr. Brown's because they were a little easier to clean.

Posted by: Genevieve at March 1, 2006 01:29 PM

I still remember the colic period (11 years ago) with way too much clarity. "Jamaican dill-water" seemed to help a bit, maybe. Earplugs were good, as they reduced my stress, if not hers.

Best of all, the literature said that, although it can last for many months, it most often stops at around 3 months. It was as if she was reading along: the day before her 3-month mark, the screaming reduced from 6 hours to 2, and it stopped (for good) the next day. You just have to survive through this - it's been an absolute ball ever since.

Posted by: Hal at March 1, 2006 01:58 PM

As we live near the 59th Street Bridge in Manhattan, when our newborn was colicky we played Simon & Garfunkel's "59th Street Bridge/Feelin'Groovy." It seemed to do he trick, and Cole calmed down. From there, we went with S & G's New York melodies (Only Living Boy in New York/A Heart in New York/At the Zoo/The Boxer) as well as their classics (Mrs. Robinson/America/Homeward Bound &c.). All of them worked like a charm.

Posted by: Bruce at March 7, 2006 03:11 PM


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